Monday, April 7, 2014

A Piece of Chalk - by G.K. Chesterton

A Piece of Chalk

by G.K. Chesterton


"I remember one splendid morning, all blue and silver, in the summer holidays when I reluctantly tore myself away from the task of doing nothing in particular, and put on a hat of some sort and picked up a walking-stick, and put six very bright-coloured chalks in my pocket. I then went into the kitchen (which, along with the rest of the house, belonged to a very square and sensible old woman in a Sussex village), and asked the owner and occupant of the kitchen if she had any brown paper. She had a great deal; in fact, she had too much; and she mistook the purpose and the rationale of the existence of brown paper. She seemed to have an idea that if a person wanted brown paper he must be wanting to tie up parcels; which was the last thing I wanted to do; indeed, it is a thing which I have found to be beyond my mental capacity. Hence she dwelt very much on the varying qualities of toughness and endurance in the material. I explained to her that I only wanted to draw pictures on it, and that I did not want them to endure in the least; and that from my point of view, therefore, it was a question, not of tough consistency, but of responsive surface, a thing comparatively irrelevant in a parcel. When she understood that I wanted to draw she offered to overwhelm me with note-paper, apparently supposing that I did my notes and correspondence on old brown paper wrappers from motives of economy. 

"I then tried to explain the rather delicate logical shade, that I not only liked brown paper, but liked the quality of brownness in paper, just as I liked the quality of brownness in October woods, or in beer, or in the peat-streams of the North. Brown paper represents the primal twilight of the first toil of creation, and with a bright-coloured chalk or two you can pick out points of fire in it, sparks of gold, and blood-red, and sea-green, like the first fierce stars that sprang out of divine darkness. All this I said (in an off-hand way) to the old woman; and I put the brown paper in my pocket along with the chalks, and possibly other things. I suppose every one must have reflected how primeval and how poetical are the things that one carries in one's pocket; the pocket-knife, for instance, the type of all human tools, the infant of the sword. Once I planned to write a book of poems entirely about the things in my pockets. But I found it would be too long; and the age of the great epics is past..."   


Haha. Boy, I can relate to that!

And the rest of Chesterton's essay can be read HERE.  You'll have to scroll down to II. A Piece of Chalk. If you have time, I hope you'll read it. The ending is wonderful!  and Chesterton is a delight, as usual.



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Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of the following: Inspiration Monday and  Mosaic Monday and The Marketplace  and Market Yourself Monday and Make it Pretty Monday and  Making the World Cuter Mondays and You're Gonna Love it Tuesday and Treasure Box Tuesday  and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and  Coastal Charm Tuesday  and What we Accomplished Wednesday and Whatever Goes Wednesday and  Adorned From Above  and Rurality Blog Hop and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and It's a Party at Creative Princess and Artsy Corner Thursday and Good Fences and  Time Travel Thursday and Thrifty Things Friday  and  Weekend Reflections and  Freedom Fridays and From the Farm and   Anything Blue Friday and Junkin' Joe and  Serenity Saturday and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Photo Friday and The Charm of Home and  Share Your Creativity and A Favorite Thing Saturday and Weekly Top Shot and Shadow Shot Sunday and  Sunny Simple Sunday and Sunlit Sunday

21 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

i like that - the brownness of it. :)

Brenda @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

Good morning. This is my first time visit. I saw your link at Vee's... and your too-cute comment in response to the survey and #4 about cutting off labels.

I'm so glad I stopped by. What a delightful blog and I do enjoy G.K.Chesterton and so this little piece about brown paper and chalk was pure delight.

Here's wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places....

podso said...

I'll have to go finish it. Love his writing, May the trip go well!

Terra said...

Chesterton is both a dear man and a brilliant writer; write a poem about what is in his pocket, great idea. I have a few of his books.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

This was very interesting, thank you for sharing and thank you for the link.

Pamela Gordon said...

What a delightful story from Chesterton. Have a great day!

Debbie said...

Oh I enjoyed that....I am off to finish the rest of it! Enjoy your day

Vee said...

I have only recently been introduced to Chesterton. It is with great curiosity that I will read "the rest of the story."

Sandra said...

I kept trying to figure out what chalk looks like on brown paper...at first i thought it was you writing and thought wow, she can write, then realized i missed the Name at the beginning..

bj said...

OOO...I really enjoyed this.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Loved it! And yes, I had to go read the whole story. Got to love those English authors. They have such a knack for turning something that is everyday useful into something great and interesting.

NanaDiana said...

G.K. Chesterton's writings are so well written. I love the part about the brown paper and loving the "browness" of it...like the browness of woods in October.
I will go read the ending in a bit- xo Diana

Primitive Stars said...

Thanks, enjoyed the post, Francine.

Ruth Kelly said...

I thought that was you writing about chalk and brown paper until I got to the end. So i was going to ask you what you drew.

Donna Wilkes said...

I love both Chesterton and brown kraft paper. When I leave here, I plant to read the story in full. A post full of possibilities.

Laura Lane said...

What an absolutely delightful story! Thank you for sharing it.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Susie said...

So funny....the great Epic. I have never done chalks with my g.daughter...well other than the driveway. She once made a hopscotch the whole length of the driveway...she was planning on hopping into town , I guess. xoxo, Susie

Sue said...

I am not familiar with Chesterton's writings, thanks for the link, enjoyed this, so well written. Enjoy your trip!

Terri D. said...

My first time reading this author. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing this great story!

ImSoVintage Laura Walker said...

I love the brownness of it all. xo Laura

Denise said...

Nice.

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